Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Spin on a New Year's Tradition

CRAFTY New Year everybody!

My family background is Polish and Slovak, and along with that heritage came the tradition that eating sauerkraut (or cabbage) on New Year's Eve/Day -- supposedly becuase it is good luck for the year or some such thing.

Although I enjoy cabbage, I have never been able to stomach sauerkraut no matter what it is served with or how it's prepared. The closest I've come to enjoying it is a variation served by a restaurant here in Northeastern Ohio named Melt Bar & Grilled -- a grilled cheese joint (as seen on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives") that kicks this kid-friendly staple into outerspace. They have a starter (appetizer) that features potato and cheese pierogis, grilled onions and a Napa cabbage kraut made with vodka. I don't love the Napa kraut, but I can tolerate it with all the other yummy flavors in the dish.

 While superstition isn't my thing, I do love a good tradition--especially related to the holidays. In lieu of a dish of potatoes, sauerkraut, and vegetarian sausage, I decided that for dinner this New Year's Day I would make a soup that my husband and I discovered in the book "Lean and Luscious and Meatless, Volume 3" but hardly ever make for some reason.

The recipe is for a tasty Cabbage and Potato Soup that happens to also be vegan, low in calories and carbs and completely fat free. What better way to start off the new year...and those healthy eating/get fit new year's resolutions? Even if you help yourself to two servings, it's only 174 calories and 40 carbs. It also has the benefit of being a dish you can prepare quickly and just set to simmer for a while. Crusty bread or rolls go well with this comforting dish.

If sauerkraut has you making sour faces, like it does me, maybe you'll try out this tasty soup and start a new holiday tradition yourself!

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